Care for some Chocolate?

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If you follow this link, you will see a clip from the TV series The Big Bang Theory where they demonstrate the use of operant conditioning to modify a person's behavior. In the clip, Sheldon offered the woman a piece of chocolate every time she did something that he deemed "correct". In time she began to alter her behavior. The method of operant conditioning was created by behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner and involves using either a positive or negative stimulus in order to increase or decrease a desired behavior. Operant conditioning is commonly used to train animals and even humans. Remember back in kindergarten when you would get gold stars for behaving or doing your homework? Ya, your teachers were using operant conditioning.

Operant Conditioning Chart.jpg

They were using positive reinforcement in order to get you to behave and do your school work. As a matter of fact, throughout your entire life you will be exposed to operant conditioning. In college, if you study hard and do well in classes, your professor or T.A.'s will reward you with a good grade; slack off and party too much, you will be punished with poor grades. Even when you move on to a professional career, you get promotions and raises for doing well but demoted or even fired for failing.

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This page contains a single entry by herna334 published on October 10, 2011 2:34 PM.

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